How Good Oral Hygiene Can Help You Lose Weight
During the Holidays and as we approach the New Year, most Americans will find themselves indulging more than usual, getting into the “spirit” of the season. While we may be enjoying the moment, most of us will find our belts a little tighter than we would prefer at the end of the day. By the time we hit the New Year, we will vow our New Year’s Resolutions, secretly praying to have the resolve to finally stick to at least one.
One resolution in particular, losing weight, will sit at the top of millions of Americans lists this year. As weight loss is understandably a long, and not always fun, process, we thought we’d offer you a list of ways caring for your teeth can help you see pounds fall off the scale:
Brush Your Teeth
It’s pretty much a fact that NOTHING tastes good with freshly brushed teeth. Have a craving and really want to avoid binging? Brush your teeth. A typical craving for any food item lasts for only about four to ten minutes, so if you’re looking to avoid raiding the pantry, or your secret candy stash, try brushing your teeth. By the time you get to the bathroom, brush for the dentist recommended two minutes, and get back out to the kitchen, your craving will probably have subsided, you’ll have fresh breath, and will have saved yourself unwanted calories.
Up Your Calcium Intake
You’ve heard it a million times, we’re sure – “Milk does a body good!” In terms of dental care, it truly does. Calcium literally lays the ground work for building your teeth while in the womb, and helps to maintain and keep your teeth strong from childhood through your senior citizen years. If you don’t care for milk, any low fat dairy product should be able to offer you the calcium your body needs to strengthen and support its skeletal system. And the best part is, downing at least the recommended daily value of calcium has been shown to help maintain, and keep, weight off. Unfortunately, studies are also showing that supplements aren’t packing the same results, so if you don’t care for milk, try finding an alternative that you can stomach, and hopefully enjoy.
This is understandably one of the least favorite things we should be doing, and, *ahem,* we might be skipping on a daily or weekly basis. Just in case you need one more reason to actually floss, here’s food for thought: Researchers in Brazil recently studied 13,000 people over a three-year period, finding that men with the highest levels of inflammatory agents in their body were also the most likely to gain weight. Periodontal disease, which is caused by poor oral health care, is one of the most common sources of inflammation. Flossing is one of the BEST ways to prevent periodontal disease. So floss already!
If you’ve ever watched The Biggest Loser on NBC, it is probably engrained in your head that chewing sugar-free gum can ward off cravings, helping to keep off extra pounds. Added benefits are the obvious fresh breath, possible reduction in cavities, and even improved memory. With less than 5 calories in the average stick of sugar-free gum, why wouldn’t you want to chew?
Brush Your Teeth, Again
Seriously, if you take nothing else away from this blog, hopefully you will hang on to this one, fun fact: Brushing your teeth for a full two minutes (just like your dentist recommends), three times a day, can burn up to 5,500 calories in one year. This averages out to about 1.5 pounds off the scale annually. Why on earth wouldn’t you want to brush now?!?